Monday, December 10, 2012

"Love is Sweet" a bridal shower

This post is a little late in sharing. My cousin is going to be walking down the alter to become a Mrs. at the end of the month. To join in on the excitement of her marriage my mom, sisters and I threw her a shower. (I should add that my super talented mom did most of the work since 2 of us recently had new babies.)

My job was to help come up with a theme and to plan the menu.  Here is shower I came across, fell in love with, and really wanted to do our own spin on....

Photo Source: Hostess with the Mostess
Here is our take on the shower to make it our own.

Isn't my mom talented?!  That's why I always ask her to come help me decorate for my parties! Plus, she has the coolest things to decorate the aqua mason jars, I'm such a sucker for anything aqua.

Since I love food and planning for parties, I was in charge of coming up with the menu.  It was a little harder to get myself focused since I was juggling a two year old, newborn, and moving. But once we decided to do small bites, and my mom threw some ideas at me we were able to solidify a plan.

The Menu

Caprese Skewers (Mom's recipe)
Prosciutto wrapped and Goat Cheese filled dates
Apple Chutney Crostini
Autumn Salad
Mini quiche (frozen from Costco)
Olive Tapenade (Sister in law's recipe)
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (store bought)
Cheese Sticks (Mom's recipe)
Baked Spinach and Artichoke dip

Chocolate Malted Cupcake with a Toasted Marshmallow filling
Browned Butter Pumpkin Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting

If you are having a party then  you have got to try the Prosciutto wrapped goat cheese dates, they are like little bites of Heaven! Don't be scared of how they look, they simply don't show as well as they taste.  We had people coming back for second and thirds....and secretly I was hoping there would be a lot left over...

 Dates with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

The recipe as written I'm sure is amazing, but we decided to use plain goat cheese and omit the basil leaf due to making it easier and quicker to assemble. We did taste it with the basil leaf and it really added a nice component to the bite.  But if you are short on time it tastes just as good without!

 Apple Chutney and Goat Cheese Crostini

I have been making this for several years now...and I must confess that I have never actually included the layer of roasted garlic or the tomatoes and they taste just fine! Every time I make this people are a little perplexed by the idea of garlic and apples together, but after one bite are often quite sold on the union. I enjoyed munching on the leftovers for several days after the shower. The best part of this recipe is that you can make the chutney up to 3 days in advance....just mix in the minced mint right before plating.

 Autumn Chopped Salad

Again unique parings such as peanuts, pears, crisp apples and bacon come together to create a dance party on your tongue. We had a lot of requests for this is a fun take on the traditional sweet and salty salads.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Again this is a tried and true recipe that is very, very addicting. It was the first spinach artichoke dip I ever made. Once I made it and ate it I stopped my mad hunt to find the best. I do everything as the recipe calls for except I add additional mozzarella into the bake. We just had this again last night at my mom and dad's and yummers! Trust me it is better than the photo makes it appear.

Now we get to the good part.....DESSERT!

Malted Belgium Chocolate Cupcake with a Toasted Marshmallow Filling

Seriously, talk about a cupcake that melts in your mouth. This one takes the cake and also a good chunk of time to make. I ended up splitting it up between two days because I just did not have enough spare time in one day to devote to these beauties. But the good news is the cupcake is super moist and you can actually fill and frost them a whole day ahead of time. Just make sure they are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Beware, you will be tempted to eat the filling straight from the bowl by the spoonfuls! I even used the leftovers and ate with grahams crackers.  I learned that I can roast marshmallows by broiling them in the oven-- and it pretty much creates perfection. Plus, I don't have to dodge any flaming marshmallows! (that will be a story for a later date). Double bonus!

And last but definitely not least are these beauties....

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting

These are also the same cupcakes I made for my little pip-squeeks second birthday. I had promised to share the recipe but wanted to wait until after the shower to do so. This is such a good spin on a classic pumpkin cupcake. And who can resist a good salted caramel? I actually didn't use the caramel recipe posted in the recipe as I have my own that I make all the time and it always turns out perfect. I have a hard time straying from recipes that I know and love.

Here is the Caramel recipe I use.....I actually can't remember where I found it, I think from an old newspaper article.

Salted Caramel

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 Tbls. corn syrup
6 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 c. whipping cream
1-2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla


In large saucepan combine together sugar, water, and corn syrup over med/high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves (mixture will go from grainy to clear looking). Cook over med/high heat, swirling pan (do not use spoon to stir) until mixture becomes a deep amber/nut brown in color. (at this point you will notice a change in the smell, it will start smelling rich and caramelly). Watch closely, it can burn quickly. Remove from heat, stir in butter, cream and salt. Stir in vanilla. ( I usually start with 1 tsp of salt, and will add more later if needed).

I hope this gives you some inspiration and confidence that you can plan a party without having to stress over what to serve. All of these little bites are easy to prepare, some can be made ahead of time, leaving you more time to enjoy family and friends during such a special season! And don't forget the cupcakes, a party isn't a party without a yummy cupcake to partake in. Enjoy my friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment